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Erie County Industrial Development Agency Board Approves $2.68 Million in Incentives to Leverage Nearly $26 million New Local Investment

October 18, 2010 - The Erie County Industrial Development Agency board today approved four inducement packages totaling $2.68 million to spur $25.8 million in new development project investment.

LCo Building LLC received the largest tax incentive to aid its $8.4 million effort to renovate a former industrial building and gas station, located at the corner of Seneca and Van Rensselaer streets. LCo, led by developer Howard Zemsky, whose group revitalized the adjacent Larkin Building, plans the former Par Foam Products structure into Class A office space. Final plans to reuse the rehabilitated service station have not been determined.

LCo will see $1.7 million in property tax savings, $330,000 in sales tax relief and $75,000 in mortgage recording tax saving through inducement package.

The ECIDA board also approved a $324,000 tax savings package for 1238 Group, LLC for the second phase of work on the new Tapestry Charter School campus, located at 65 Great Arrow Drive in North Buffalo. Plans call for construction of a new $7.57 million, 43,000-square-foot elementary school building next to Tapestry's just-opened high school. The new school is expected to create 25 new jobs.

Efforts to bring the former Baker Shoes commercial complex at 456-460 Main Street in downtown Buffalo back to life also got assistance from the ECIDA. An amended $245,000 tax abatement package for Ellicott Development/4858 Group, L.P., will add 600 square feet of space at 460 Main Street to the 43,000-square-foot adaptive reuse project.

When complete, the long-vacant property will house Bryant & Stratton classrooms, and apartments with indoor parking slots. The total project cost is $7 million.

And an Amherst financial services firm received a $24,000 incentive package to relocate its headquarter to 600 Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo. Alliance Advisory Group, Inc. and 600 Delaware, LLC will invest $2.7 million to rework vacant space which was formerly home to Rural Metro Ambulance to office use.

The ECIDA board also approved its 2011 budget. Totaling $2,014,169, the budget is $55,295 below the current year's spending plan. The budget maintains current salary and benefit levels, and administrative fees, while trimming spending on professional services, building operations and marketing.

And the board also gave approval to a $10 million collateral mortgage for RBS Citizens tied to acquisition of Graphic Controls LLC by Graphic Controls Acquisition Corp.

Since its inception in May 2004 Graphic Controls LLC has grown through new product development and the acquisition of several complementary businesses. This has meant additional investment and jobs in Western New York. The local investor group that backed the management buyout in 2004 will be selling its ownership.

The buyer will be Graphic Controls Acquisition Corp., which will be led by the existing management team backed by a new private equity partner. This financial partner has the capital and expanded networks to allow more rapid growth and the ability to pursue larger acquisitions. The international operations will continue to be headquartered in the state-of-the-art facility in Buffalo.